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  • 1

    Santa Cruz

    129 reviews

    Santa Cruz is a fun little town with beaches and redwoods. The university's mascot if the banana slug, which you'll probably see on a walk in the forest.

  • 2


    124 reviews

    Made famous by Steinbeck, this town has perserved its cannery history, and successfully turned it into a scenic place to wander around. The aquarium is a must see if you are in the area, and if you are a diver and can take the cold water, the kelp forests just offshore host about 17,000 species and make for great diving.

  • 3

    Pacific Grove

    16 reviews

    Where I go to relax and unwind on the busy Monterey Peninsula, this ex-Methodist beach retreat town has Victorian houses, a quaint downtown that you can walk around in less than an hour (yummy bakeries!), and a historical lighthouse out by the state beach. In winter, stop off at the monarch butterfly grove to see thousands of those migratory creatures ...

  • 4

    Moss Landing

    8 reviews

    Go Kayaking in Estuary. Great meals at Fish Factory. Watch birds, otters and sea lions and sun set from your dining table.

  • 5


    11 reviews

    Head over the foothills to the small town and beach of Pescadero. Pescadero State Beach (read parking lot, toilets, and trash cans) is a wide, clean expanse of sand that's popular with locals--when I lived in Palo Alto, I'd go there at least a couple times a month. And don't miss the artichoke bread from Arcangeli Grocery Store--perfect for a ...

  • 6


    4 reviews

    Nice little beach town south of Santa Cruz. The beach is long and broad with brownish sand. On a clear day you can see all the way to Monterrey.

  • 7


    17 reviews

    This wharf isn't very big so it can get crowded. Fishing is allowed and nearby are the little cottages that can be rented. The beach next to the wharf can get packed on a hot day.

  • 8

    Pebble Beach

    30 reviews

    Drive along the 17 Mile Drive and enjoy the amazing panorama. Don't forget to stop by the lone Cypress. Only downside, it costs $10...

  • 9

    Carmel Valley

    16 reviews

    I love the rolling hills, grasslands, and oaks of California. Being close to the coast keeps the weather nice.

  • 10


    81 reviews

    Love visiting this oceanside town. Cute ambiance to the town that makes it so fun to stroll around and enjoy the shops and usually good weather.

  • 11


    14 reviews

    Calling itself "Garlick Captial of the World" the smell a garlick smell permeates the air. Most of the world's pickled, minced and powdered garlick comes from Gilroy. It's a place to pause at, look around and, unless one is here for the annual Gilroy Garlick Festival, leave.

  • 12

    Boulder Creek

    3 reviews

    A hellhole, infested with rednecks. This place should be so great. It's a beautiful woman with a personality disorder. Is it drugs, or disenchanted former loggers, or the not-so-hidden white power factions? It's just not a healthy place. It is hard to fathom why this town is so crunky. The redwood trees are beautiful, the proximity to the fantastic Big ...

  • 13


    7 reviews

    Marina is almost a suburb of the more popular Monterey. As you come in on Hwy 1 going north, you're probably looking toward the beach, so you don't notice the strip malls and cheap housing on the other side of the highway.

  • 14
  • 15


    11 reviews

    Home of the National Steinbeck Center, Salinas is home to one of the greatest American authors of our time. It's crazy to think that the words he wrote were inspired by the sweeping landscapes that this city provides. If you relish going where you're favorite books were set and seeing what inspired an author's point of reference, then you will ...

  • 16


    13 reviews

    A beautiful beach town that will give you a lot of beach to relax on. Come here as you are going north or south and enjoy a quick dip in the vast ocean in front of you. I really liked it because it wasn't as busy as some of the other beaches nearby.

  • 17

    San Juan Bautista

    3 reviews

    San Juan Bautista is a small quaint town on the way towards the Bay Area. The main attraction here is Mission San Juan Bautista, one of the many Spanish Missions that were built when Spain owned California.

  • 18


    1 review

    they grow great strawberries

  • 19


    6 reviews

    Davenport is beautiful and wild. Walk along the bluffs overlooking the ocean and you will more likely than not see migrating whales spouting. If you descend to the beaches bring some layers as it gets cold anytime, and dont forget to pack your trash out. Be very careful swimming here, the water is treacherous as well as very cold. The ...

  • 20


    1 review

    Decent little town, good for a quick stop for supplies before your hike at the Pinnacles.

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